Dec 29, 2021
How to Market Your Business
Believe it or not, startups have to market their businesses as well as their products and services. You don’t only sell things to customers. You’re selling everything about you - your mission, your team, your culture - to potential candidates who could help you take your business to new heights.
If you don’t market your startup well, people won’t want to participate in what you’re doing…at least not A-level talent. You’ll attract individuals who just want to switch jobs because they’re bored or need a paycheck, and you’ll miss out on those who would otherwise be inspired by your vision.
As we’ve talked about many times before, you can’t afford to bring in people who aren’t all-in on what you’re doing. And you certainly can’t hire average teammates if you’re trying to disrupt the status quo.
To that end, here are tips to market your business better to the outside world. Better marketing means you’ll attract better people, and better people mean you’ll build a better business.
What Are Your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)?
As a growing startup, you have to figure out what your unique selling propositions (USPs) are to potential hires.
- What makes you different from other companies or organizations in your space?
- How is your technology more sophisticated?
- Why is your approach to the problem smarter?
- How is your culture healthier?
Ultimately, you’re trying to convince someone that they are better off working for you rather than staying where they are. To do that, you need unique selling points that make it hard for people to ignore you. Once you figure out what those are, you need to broadcast them far and wide.
Speak at conferences, participate in podcast interviews, blog on industry-relevant sites - invest time building up your brand in the marketplace and telling people why you’re special. Otherwise, you leave them guessing, which is often not a strong marketing strategy.
How Are You Evolving With Broader Trends?
People also want to work for startups that are evolving, not stagnating. They don’t want to jump on board with a sinking ship or one that can’t adjust to changing winds and tides. Part of marketing your business is sharing how it’s growing, not in terms of financial performance or people, but in terms of its role in the world.
For instance, if your startup is making changes to operate more sustainably, explain that! Share where you are in your ESG journey and how you’ve let go of outdated or harmful practices. If you are trying to support underrepresented communities through your offerings or employment strategy, highlight it.
The key here is authenticity. Obviously, you stand to benefit if you’re on the right side of certain trends. But you need to approach these topics with a genuine desire to do what’s right. If your goal is simply to appear virtuous to a watching world, people will see through that and won’t want to join your cause.
What Makes You Proud of What You Do?
Finally, as a startup leader, you need to tell people why you are proud of your organization. What motivates you to spend so much time and energy on addressing a specific problem? Why are you willing to take on so much risk?
These are the things that really scratch at what people are looking for in their work. Let others know how your business speaks to you on a deeper level and why you care about its success. This type of vulnerability can be a powerful marketing tool for your startup and convince people to take action.
In a world that is only getting more competitive, marketing your startup well is crucial. A good brand or business marketing strategy can accelerate your hiring process and attract higher-quality people. Then, you’ll be able to execute your vision to its fullest potential.